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Why effective use of business cases could be the missing link to your project success

by Ellis Putnam

A challenge for many organizations is having a consistent and comprehensive format of creating business cases and therefore they do not have the desired impact on decision makers. A lack of a standardized process leads to data quality issues and often delays, with the process becoming increasingly drawn out when roles are not clearly defined. Not having the appropriate data to compare and prioritize business cases can become extremely frustrating for key executives and decision makers within the organization. However, this blog is going to explore why business cases can be vital for making the right strategic change in an organization and create a roadmap for project success.

Why is it important to have a business case?

A business case helps to document the justification of undertaking a project. It usually consists of the reason for the project, the different options that have been considered, key risks, costs, timescales, expected benefits and an investment appraisal. Developing an effective business case is essential for decision makers to determine if the project is right for the organization and judge whether the benefits outweigh the costs and risks. This further stops the organization from wasting valuable resources on the projects that do not support the organization to achieve its objectives. The ability to demonstrate a clear path between the business case and organization’s overall strategy therefore increases its chances of approval.

Business cases also provide a clear basis for prioritization. The ability to understand what resource or cost is required enables the organization to prepare timescales and make changes where appropriate to ensure that demand is met. Uncovering the level of expected value also assists in the prioritization of projects based on ROI, helping organizations to understand how urgent the project is against the organization’s overall strategy.

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What does an effective business case mean for project success?

Firstly, having a clear and comprehensive business case serves as an important tool to keep the team and leadership excited and engaged, along with giving confidence to those stakeholders that they have made the right decision and invested in the right project. Gaining invested interest throughout the process can further prove helpful when implementing the project itself; with the correct people engaged it could lead to greater commitment to making the investment a success, which can consequently result in reduced bottlenecks throughout. In addition, a detailed business case enables project managers to get started quickly with minimal additional planning. Being able to transfer information seamlessly over to the project team or into project management software can save a lot of time.

By mapping out the expected business benefits in a manner that can be clearly understood and implemented, you can more easily assess whether the project has been successful or not once complete. This is something that is often forgotten or lost, with projects often considered finished when all the deliverables have been met. Yet it is extremely important to understand if benefits have been realized and if not, why? This understanding not only helps with future projects but also creates clarity around where the organization current stands against its strategic objectives.

Have you considered business case software?

Current methods of business cases often involve multiple spreadsheet templates, making the comparison of financials extremely difficult. With dependency on the likes of excel, word and PowerPoint there is no source system to refer to. Consequently, version control can be problematic with a higher likelihood of errors during the revision process. Business case software can help to eliminate these common challenges and provide an accelerated approval process with clear governance and accountability.

edison365businesscase delivers a transparent and regulated way for business cases to be produced and managed throughout an organization. With configurable templates, the tool can help to standardize and optimize your internal processes, providing the visibility required to fully understand the financial, benefit and resourcing requirements, with impact appreciated. This transparent and regulated way for business cases to be produced and compared also enables decision makers to make the right decisions across the organization at scale. Personalized access further supports an individual users’ view and approval rights, with target timescales set at each approval stage highlighting where delays occur and who is holding up the process. With edison365businesscase built on Office 365, users can get up and running quickly with its inherent collaboration and intuitive user interface, available across multiple devices and browsers.

If you would like to find out more about edison365businesscase, email hello@edison365.com and someone from the team will work with you to understand your requirements and how edison365 can help.

Alternatively, if you would like to see the tool in action, take a look at our on-demand webinar here.

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Contact us now to find out more